Greg Olsen on Kelvin Benjamin Criticizing Cam Newton: 'It's Kind of Weird'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2018

FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2017, file photo, Carolina Panthers' Greg Olsen (88) celebrates with Cam Newton (1) after a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C.  The New Orleans Saints have to prepare for the presence of Olsen, who didn’t play in either of these teams’ previous two meetings this season. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn, File)
Mike McCarn/Associated Press

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen defended Cam Newton against criticism from former wideout Kelvin Benjamin, saying the team supports its quarterback.

"It's kind of weird," Olsen told reporters Sunday. "We all wish Kelvin the best. Obviously, things change. Again, we've talked at length about how guys around here feel about Cam. Obviously, you don't like people going after your quarterback.

"But Cam knows how the guys feel here about him. I would imagine that's what he holds the most credence to."

Benjamin, who spent his first three-and-a-half seasons with the Panthers, told Tim Graham of The Athletic that his career would have been better with another quarterback.

"If you would've put me with any other quarterback, let's be real, you know what I'm saying? Any other accurate quarterback like [Aaron] Rodgers or Eli Manning or Big Ben [Roethlisberger]—anybody!—quarterbacks with knowledge, that know how to place a ball and give you a better chance to catch the ball. It just felt like I wasn't in that position," Benjamin said.

Benjamin was the Panthers' first-round pick in 2014 and had 1,008 receiving yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie. A torn ACL kept him out the entire 2015 season, but he returned with a 63-catch, 941-yard campaign in 2016 and was on pace for about that total when Carolina traded him halfway through last season.

Newton won the NFL MVP and led the Panthers to a Super Bowl berth in 2015, the season Benjamin missed.

"He was the MVP, wasn't he?" Olsen said. "Just in general, you play with an MVP quarterback. There's like four or five of them in the league, right? Obviously, you know how I feel and how we feel about Cam, which I think right now is all that matters. ... People have opinions. That's just the world of today."

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott was also critical of Benjamin's comments.

"There's a time and a place—I'm not saying specific to what comments were madethere's a time and place for things like that," McDermott told reporters. "This was not one of them. We have a lot of respect for our opponents, No. 1, and everyone in the league. I've spoken with Kelvin, and that's not how I want us to handle things like that. So we'll move forward as a team, and I'm hoping we've already done that."

Benjamin said he's "moving on" from the controversy and would not be reaching out to Newton or commenting further.

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